“To me, ‘busy’ implies that the person is out of control of their life.” – Derek Sivers
Derek Sivers(@sivers) is one of my favorite humans, and I call him often for advice. Think of him as a philosopher-king programmer, master teacher, and merry prankster.
Originally a professional musician and circus clown, Derek created CD Baby in 1998. It became the largest seller of independent music online, with $100 million in sales for 150,000 musicians.
In 2008, Derek sold CD Baby for $22 million, giving the proceeds to a charitable trust for music education. He is a frequent speaker at the TED Conference, with more than 5 million views of his talks. Since 2011, he has published 34 books, including “Anything You Want,” which I’ve personally read 10+ times.
- Listen to it on iTunes.
- Stream by clicking here.
- Download as an MP3 by right-clicking here and choosing “save as.”
Want to hear another podcast from a tech entrepreneur who built and sold a multi-million dollar company? — Listen to my conversation with Bryan Johnson. In this episode, we discuss his path to building a business worth $800 million (stream below or right-click here to download):
This podcast is brought to you by Wealthfront. Wealthfront is a massively disruptive (in a good way) set-it-and-forget-it investing service, led by technologists from places like Apple and world-famous investors. It has exploded in popularity in the last 2 years and now has more than $2.5B under management. In fact, some of my good investor friends in Silicon Valley have millions of their own money in Wealthfront. Why? Because you can get services previously limited to the ultra-wealthy and only pay pennies on the dollar for them, and it’s all through smarter software instead of retail locations and bloated sales teams.
Check out wealthfront.com/tim, take their risk assessment quiz, which only takes 2-5 minutes, and they’ll show you—for free–exactly the portfolio they’d put you in. If you want to just take their advice and do it yourself, you can. Or, as I would, you can set it and forget it. Well worth a few minutes: wealthfront.com/tim.
This podcast is also brought to you by MeUndies. Have you ever wanted to be as powerful as a mullet-wearing ninja from the 1980’s, or as sleek as a black panther in the Amazon? Of course you have, and that’s where MeUndies comes in. I’ve spent the last 2-3 weeks wearing underwear from these guys 24/7, and they are the most comfortable and colorful underwear I’ve ever owned. Their materials are 2x softer than cotton, as evaluated using the Kawabata method. Check out MeUndies.com/Tim to see my current faves (some are awesomely ridiculous) and, while you’re at it, don’t miss lots of hot ladies wearing MeUndies.
QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: In this episode, Derek discusses how he deconstructs the ideas from books into useful “do this” style directives. If you were to write a directive based on lessons from this podcast, what would it be? Please let me know in the comments.
Scroll below for links and show notes…
Selected Links from the Episode
- Anything You Want by Derek Sivers
- HELL YEAH! Or No. by Derek Sivers
- Learn more about Now Now Now
- The Most Successful E-mail I Ever Wrote
- Watch Vanilla Sky, the movie that inspired Derek to automate CD Baby
- Get Derek Sivers’s book notes
- Seeking Wisdom by Peter Bevelin (Derek Sivers’s notes)
- The Magic of Thinking Big by David Schwartz (Derek Sivers’s notes)
- Stumbling on Happiness by Daniel Gilbert – (Derek Sivers’s notes)
- The Omnivore’s Dilemma and Food Rules by Michael Pollan
- Learn more about Derek Sivers’s directives project
- Check out Weird or Just Different, Derek Sivers 3-minute TED Talk
- A Guide to the Good Life by William Irvine (Derek Sivers’s notes)
- Radical Acceptance by Tara Brach
- A Geek in Japan by Hector Garcia
- Au Contraire by Gilles Asselin and Ruth Mastron
- Check out Chris Rock’s Top Five
- What if You Didn’t Need Money or Attention?
- Relax For The Same Result
- Saying No To Everything Else
- Want more from Derek? Check out his Twitter responses to your questions
- Derek Sivers, the leader of the circus [8:56]
- A framework for developing confidence [15:41]
- How Derek Sivers graduated from the Berklee School of Music in two years [19:26]
- Lessons learned from the Santa Monica bike path [28:31]
- How CD Baby came to be [34:51]
- The co-op business model [38:36]
- How one e-mail helped make CD Baby a remarkable company [41:36]
- How Derek Sivers responded to those seeking to invest in CD Baby during the dot-com bubble [46:01]
- On his relationship with money and saying “no” to millions [49:06]
- The origins of the HELL YEAH! Or No. [57:06]
- Discussing the Now Now Now project [1:01:21]
- What inspired the automation of CD Baby [1:03:41]
- Derek Sivers’s book consumption habits and creating directives [1:12:36]
- Most gifted books [1:46:36]
- What purchase of $100 or less has most positively affected your life? [1:49:16]
- What Derek Sivers listens to when working out [1:51:11]
- If you could have one billboard anywhere, what would it say and why? [1:52:46]
- Advice for your thirty-year-old self [1:54:36]
The Tim Ferriss Show is one of the most popular podcasts in the world with over 400 million downloads. It has been selected for "Best of Apple Podcasts" three times, it is often the #1 interview podcast across all of Apple Podcasts, and it's been ranked #1 out of 400,000+ podcasts on many occasions. To listen to any of the past episodes for free, check out this page.